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Today, I realised that as humans we take so many liberties from life. That we take much for granted. We live with a perceived sense of permanence and entitlement, and when the facade we erect for our own sense of security is pulled away, we are often left devastated, confused and dumbfounded.

Are you still not clear as to what I’m talking about? Ok, how about this. Most people spend countless hours working for their families. Family time is sacrificed all for an end goal to live a luxurious and comfortable life. Get the vacation home, the holiday car, set a nice little egg in the basket for retirement or better yet leave an inheritance for the grandkids.

Now I’m not against industriousness and productivity. Nice homes, good educations and good food cost money and someone has to pay for that. So yes I know, believe me, I know. But even then we assume, we assume that the kids will always be around and that they’ll always be a family to come back to, or that we’ll actually be healthy enough to enjoy what we’ve worked so hard for. Unfortunately, life is not always predictable and as the great sage Solomon said, unforeseen circumstances overtake us all, the sun shines on the wicked and the good alike. You may fall sick, your family could die, even worse you could die (you know what both options are worse).

Somewhere along the lines, as we got caught up in the cares of this life, we somehow forgot that we didn’t come here to acquire material things. That we are passing through to another dimension and that everything we have now is transient and temporary.

I believe that’s why you can’t take your physical goods with you to the afterlife because after all is said and done, that’s not what you were put here to attain solely.

Listen, I don’t have it all figured out as well, but I’d like to imagine we were put here for the lessons we learn from experience. Through relationships, we learn to love, be patient, to forgive and to compromise. Through loss, we learn to survive, to find inner strength and recognise the unpredictability of life. One day you have all you could ever eat and the next you’re unbelievably hungry and feeding on your memories.

Is that something to get mad about? No, I don’t think so. Through all those different stages and phases you’re learning something and life is humbling you. Life is teaching that you can never capture it and shape it into what you want it to be. You are a student and you don’t get to choose the lessons.

But what about my walk with God,  isn’t he supposed to shield me from what affects others?

I think that’s the biggest problem we have as Christians. We’re so focused on channelling our faith on what we have in this world. We want to keep our jobs, our money, our families, but again you never can. You know that phrase “why do good things happen to good people?” I question the accuracy of it.

Listen, bad things happen to everyone, good and bad people, it’s what comes with living in an imperfect world.

Now am I telling you this to discourage you, to dampen your mood and make your efforts seem futile? No. On the contrary, I want you to enjoy life even more and expand your vision and derive the best from every situation relationship and encounter. You see when you know that life isn’t in material wealth you don’t take loss personally. You don’t feel victimized or that God’s got a sniper rifle on you. The last part may seem extreme but there was a time I believed God had a sniper rifle on my life and everything I thought made me who I was. I even nicknamed him the sniper. You can laugh now, it’s allowed.

And no, I’m not advocating for a life of poverty or mediocrity. Life isn’t funny when you’re hungry, broke and broken, oh no! Poverty has created more problems in society than riches ever will. I mean if having money was terrible, the devil would be filling all our pockets, there’s a reason 9% of the population controls 80% of the world’s wealth. So no, I don’t want you to become a martyr and start neglecting your families financial needs or your own for that matter. But I want to cherish the things that do matter while you pursue your dreams.

Take a look around buddy and realise that life is truly good.

And you know what I believe.

Good things happen when you do.

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Valerie Tendai Chatindo

Valerie Tendai Chatindo

Valerie Tendai Chatindo is a biochemist, entrepreneur and a digital storyteller. Follow her at tendy_vchatndo

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